Rahul conveys message of unity in Wayanad; says won't say a word against CPM
Kalpetta: Congress President Rahul Gandhi Thursday said he will "absorb all the attacks" of the CPI(M), which is miffed over his Wayanad candidature in Kerala, and will not speak against the Left parties during his campaign.
Braving the scorching heat, Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, took part in a roadshow here as part of his poll campaign for the April 23 Lok Sabha elections.
The road show concluded by 12.45 pm and Rahul and Priyanka boarded the chopper to return from Wayanad. He will later go to Karipur and leave to Nagpur for campaign activities while Priyanka will be going to Delhi.
The AICC chief, along with the state leaders including former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, came out in an open vehicle after Gandhi completed the nomination procedures at the district collectorate here.
Arriving on a helicopter from Kozhikode, Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi drove to the Wayanad Collector's office some 500 meters away, all the time cheered by people packing both sides of the road.
Amid tight security, only a few persons were allowed to go in with them. The Gandhis later boarded an open jeep for a road show in Wayanad accompanied by Congress General Secretary Oommen Chandy.
Police personnel found it tough to handle the surging crowds. The situation became more difficult whenever Rahul Gandhi shook hands with supporters. People were seen clicking photos on their mobile phones and waving flags of the Congress party and its ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
At one time, there were heated exchanges between Congress leaders and Special Protection Group (SPG) officials after the latter insisted that the proposed road show might not happen due to security concerns. But in the end the Congress leadership won the tussle. The crowds were delirious.
"I have seen Indira Gandhi when she came to Kozhikode many years back. Now I am excited that I have seen her grandchildren. I am very happy," beamed a 78-year-old Muslim woman.
Another group of Congress activists shouted: "Rahul will win with a massive margin never seen in Kerala."As the massive crowd of supporters gathered on both sides of the road, security personnel had a tough time controlling the workers to clear the way for the vehicle.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi filed nomination before the district collector A R Ajayakumar here. Heavy security was in place in and around the Collectorate ahead of the high profile visit of the Congress chief.
(With inputs from agencies)